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Panthers slug South Pike

With a playoff berth already secured, the Brookhaven Panthersclosed out their 2006 regular season Monday night, hosting theSouth Pike Eagles on Senior Night. Ole Brook elders GarionCrockett, Brandt Hinton, Marlon Dixon and T.J. Qualls eachcontributed to the Panthers’ 14-4 win over the Eagles in 5 inningson Moyer Field.

Brookhaven, coached by Randy Spring, concludes the regularseason at 23-5. The Panthers advance to the opening round of theSouth State 4A playoffs Thursday in the Lawrence County regional atJimmie Davis Park. Ole Brook will meet the St. StanislausRock-A-Chaws at 4 p.m., followed by the Division 6-4A championLawrence County Cougars hosting the Poplarville Hornets at 7 in thedouble-elimination tournament.

St. Stanislaus is the No. 2 seed out of Division 8, whilePoplarville finished fourth.

Brookhaven 14, South Pike 4

“It was not pretty, but we got the job done,” said Spring, whois in his eighth year at BHS. His ball club committed severaluncharacteristic errors in the game.

South Pike (5-15), coached by Jason Cooksey, cut its deficit to9-4 in the top half of the fourth. Aided by a pair of Panthererrors, the Eagles plated 4 unearned runs. Jonathan Hodges, KelseyIsland and C.T. McKnight each had a single in the inning. Runs werescored by T.J. Hood, Hodges, Tevin Martin and McKnight.

Henry Green suffered the loss for South Pike. He allowed 13 runson 5 hits with a walk and 4 strikeouts in 4-plus innings. Islandthrew to 3 Ole Brook batters; allowing the game-winning run thatevoked the 10-run rule.

Ole Brook opened the night by taking a 9-0 lead into the third.In the first, Zach Watson and Cole Newell scored. In the second,the Panthers sent 11 batters to the plate. Watson, Newell,Crockett, Josh Coone, Mitch Pappas, Qualls, Dixon and Hintoncrossed home plate.

Coone picked up the win in 2 1/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2hits with 2 strikeouts and no walks. Watson and Newell saw actionon the mound.

“Our pitching will be a key for us as we head into theplayoffs,” added Spring.

Brookhaven scored single runs in the third and fourth innings,before evoking the 10-run rule in the fifth with 3 runs.

“It was a good win, but have to be more focused for theplayoffs,” said Spring who is assisted by Eric Stokes, Dustin Lottand Dewayne Oberschmidt.

Newell led the Panther offensive with 4 runs scored. Watson,Qualls and Dixon each scored twice. Hinton had 2 triples.